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A crime against nature

Oct 28, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

The killers of Hudson's moose are crooks who deserve harsh punishment

If there is such a thing as nature's law, then it has been broken repugnantly by the person or persons who shot and killed four moose in the Hudson area.

And if there is justice on Earth, then it will be visited in full force on the low-down dregs who committed this abominable act.

Many Fremont County residents who travel between Riverton and Lander, Hudson and Riverton, and Lander and Hudson saw one or more of these striking animals. Those who made the trip often learned to keep their eyes peeled for the big brutes. Seeing them always brought a smile.

People who make a living keeping track of wildlife say the arrival of the moose about a year ago marked a welcome change for the area. It had been so long since moose had chosen to live there that there was concern that some unalterable change had occurred that would keep moose away forever.

Instead, one day, there they were. Wildlife managers believe they were a family, such as a family can exist among moose. There was more good news recently, when witnesses said it appeared that a baby had been born into the group.

Compared to the ubiquitous antelope and deer that are seen so frequently now as to become ordinary in our eyes, moose sightings in public areas of Wyoming are unusual. Many residents of our state probably have never seen a moose, or, if they have, then just once or twice. There aren't nearly so many of them as their smaller cousins, and they can be reclusive.

So to have this small but sturdy group appear near where we live was a welcome and unexpected pleasure. They were wild animals, but in a sense they seemed to belong to us.

It is infuriating and sickening to imagine how some of our fellow human beings could shoot these quirky, innocent creatures for no earthly reason, apparently, except vile amusement.

The moose were shot and left to rot where they fell. Some had seen a calf, and if those sightings were authentic, then it is feared the young one is now dead as well for lack of care from its mother.

The investigation continues. Evidence is still emerging, and details remain to be finalized. But make no mistake: This is a crime. A significant crime. A vile crime. Those who perpetrated it are contemptible. Wyoming takes this despicable offense seriously. Many of the investigators take it personally as well.

A cooperative effort among several regulatory and investigative agencies has located suspects in the killing of the four animals. Many who are outraged by the crime feel, no doubt, that few punishments would be too severe.

If things are as they appear, then these crooks deserve harsh treatment from the rest of us. Once they are convicted, we'll do our part by printing their names in bold ink for all to see. Until then, throw the book at them, and throw it hard.

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